Uptown boutique on verge of closing after repeat break-ins

Uptown boutique on verge of closing after repeat break-ins

A business owner says making her dreams come true is costing more than she expected.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A business owner says making her dreams come true is costing more than she expected. 

Her clothing store has been broken into four times in less than a year. The most recent happened Tuesday morning. 

At this point, Leticia Leyba has a close relationship with the people at the glass company.

“You call and say ‘It’s a break-in at Groove Boutique,’ they pretty much know who it is and what’s going on,” said Leyba.

A car drove through her high-end clothing shop right before opening day, delaying it several months.

Once they finally opened in April 2023, Leyba says they had three break-ins in three weeks. 

“The second one they took over $10,000 worth of stuff. We had five different people come in throughout the night and loot the store,” Leyba said. 

Tuesday morning marks the fourth break-in in just nine months, and the end of Leyba’s patience. 

“I had a dream I wanted a cute boutique and I wanted to bring something cute to Albuquerque, so I’ve kept pushing along,” said Leyba. 

Leyba says the man left without stealing anything, but replacing the door was about $700. 

Her new insurance company won’t cover break-ins or theft. She says she used to have more coverage through a different company, but that changed after the third break-in.

“Sent me a cancellation letter and said they would no longer cover me because I was high risk,” Leyba said. 

Her own security measures haven’t done much to keep people away. She says the city hasn’t done much either – at least not long term.

“Did get a mobile camera put out from the city. It did deter things for a little bit but once that camera left, things got really sketchy again,” said Leyba. 

Her neighbor Pei Wei moved out in December. A sign on the door says “for the safety of our team, this store is closed.”

Now, Leyba is considering doing the same – closing up and selling online only.

“If another break-in happens, and they steal over $5,000 worth of stuff we’re done. We’re absolutely, financially – Groove will be done,” Leyba said. 

KOB 4 reached out to APD to see if they have a plan to protect small businesses from crime in this part of town.

An APD spokesperson sent the following to KOB 4:

“Officers have worked with this business and others in the Uptown area on crime concerns and will continue to do so.

The NE Area Commander has emphasized a special focus on the Uptown area for the month of February, with the purpose to address all crimes for all shifts. The Commander also plans to direct his NE Crime Prevention Specialist to contact the business and assist them with crime prevention.

They will also put out a periodic watch in the area of the business, specifically looking for burglaries.

Officers have also been working in the Uptown Area with the Organized Crime Unit and the Attorney General’s Office related to retail theft.